Sanctuary Spotlight

Story four – We are waterlilies rising from the marsh

I am a human being. A human being who is condemned to the weaker sex because of gender; a human being without the right to freedom, without the right to education, without the right to raise their voice when their rights are violated and without the right to choose a spouse; and a human being who is forced to bow down to the desires and thoughts of a few men who consider themselves the best creatures of God.

These humans live in a beautiful land called Afghanistan. Banning education is not new in Afghanistan. Previously, Buddhist families did not allow their daughters to go to school and university. Fortunately, my family supported me to get accepted into one of the best universities in Afghanistan. And I had a normal life. I was in search of achieving my dreams. I wanted one day to change the minds of those people who do not allow their daughters to study, but unfortunately, with the arrival of the Taliban, things got worse for us day by day. Provinces fell one after another to the Taliban, and finally, with the fall of the capital, Kabul, and the escape of our president, the bitterest and darkest day of my life happened.

Suddenly, terrible things happened in all Afghan homes. I was separated from my dearest people in life. My loved ones emigrated, and many lost their loved ones in the airport explosion. Many also lost their way trying to be smuggled into neighbouring countries. Many girls married hastily to prevent the Taliban marrying them by force. There were days when I was afraid that one day the Taliban would come and take me and my sisters away.

The Taliban carried weapons and rockets on their shoulders, which prevented me from going out, even to go shopping for essentials, and we were imprisoned at home for several months.

The first interview with the spokesman of the Taliban leader was full of hope and building bright days and progress, but gradually everything turned against women and the dark days and despair of women began. Universities, schools, courses, clubs, parks, water play pools, recreational places and even public baths were closed to women.

We have gone through hard and terrible days and we are struggling. But the women are admirable and I feel proud that I haven’t given up with all these problems. If the Taliban close the doors, I will get out through the windows. If the Taliban close the gates, I will get out through the closet, and if they close the closet, I will dig a hole and make a way for progress to my dreams. With all my strength, energy and motivation, I continue as before. Now also, because my dreams are not buried under the ground with me, I study English to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam and work with a qualified and experienced group in the technology sector online. I try to find help to take the TOEFL exam and get a scholarship to one of the universities in the UK. It is my dream to study Computer Science, and then after graduation create a startup company where women can get acquainted with technology, and I hope to study at master’s level and become independent in every way, and show the world that we make a ladder of success from the stones that remain in front of us.